We made a new friend today.
Quite often I'll take my dog for a walk around the neighbourhood, and every time we pass this house where a black lab lives. She's a lovely dog, but very shy. She's left in the yard all day, but has lots of shade and space and water, and there are toys for her. Whenever we pass, Rufus and I stop to say hello over the fence.
First of all she'd just bark at us from the safety and shade of the porch. Then, after several visits, she stopped barking and would step out, but still keep her distance. Then she would come along the path, halfway to the gate, and lie down there. Just watch us. I'd talk to her and Rufus would snuffle and whine at the gate. Sometimes she'd do that thing where they put their chin on the ground between their front paws. So lovely.
But today! Ah, today she got braver and kind of belly-crawled forward a bit. I keep talking to her and eventually she got to the gate and I got to give her some scratches and Rufus and her sniffed noses and we all made friends. She's such a sweet girl. It was wonderful.
I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.